The Christian Brothers High School student body welcomed Jim Strickland, Mayor of the City of Memphis and fellow Brothers' Boy, to campus Sept. 12 for a talk on leadership and service.
Brother Chris Englert, FCS, CBHS President, acknowledged Strickland, a 1982 CBHS graduate, as a Servant Leader and thanked him for addressing the assembly, organized by the school's Brothers' Leadership Council.
Mayor Strickland opened his remarks by stating 'I love Memphis, I love CBHS, and I love being a Brothers' Boy." He talked about three important qualities : service, being a leader, and getting things done.
Inspired by President John F. Kennedy's call to service, "ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country," Strickland said that as Christians we are required to serve others. But, service is not limited to Christians or political parties but to each of us. "Service, with a dose of humility, is what I witnessed in watching one of the great leaders of the school, Brother Adrian, walking along the side of Walnut Grove picking up trash. And I see the same today in the work of Brother Joel McGraw."
Service must then be elevated in positions of leadership. During his eight years on the Memphis City Council and the last two as Mayor, Strickland "wanted to make a difference and not just make noise." He stressed that leadership is building consensus behind the scenes, uniting everyone to support Memphis. And an important key is to surround oneself with very good people.
Finally, service through leadership must result in achieving results, said Strickland. Doing many things behind the scenes with little fanfare or media recognition will help get things done. "Our job is to do a job so well that you don't notice us," he said.
Mayor Strickland also answered questions from the students, submitted through the leaders of the school 10 House System. In answering many questions, he stressed the importance of CBHS in the lives of the students and the community.
"CBHS begins the process of opening your minds," said Strickland. "It prepares you emotionally and academically to handle college, but life is endless education and learning." He encouraged the students to stay engaged with alumni and also stay involved with the school years after they've graduated. He also wants students, upon completing college, to return to Memphis and the Mid-south area and help make it a better place for all.